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RIAT - The front line of RAF100


by Ian Homer. Posted to category: General

a special report from our events team

RIAT 2018 ~ the front line of RAF100

Bob Jackson reports:

What on earth is he going on about you might ask? Well the Events Team were at RAF Fairford for the 2018 Royal International Air Tattoo which this year played homage to the 100th Anniversary of the creation of the Royal Air Force.

A steady stream of visitors to the Vulcan events trailer for all three days of RIAT - with a few mad rushes too! 

With the temperature reaching over 30 degC the 185,000 visitors to the show over the three full days meant that the team were seldom at rest. Of course it all started on Thursday with set-up, Set-up is always a little slow but this being our first show of the year we had to blow the rust off first, get the joints moving and start to bounce ……. and that was just the human side of things.

Still, we were off site before 17.50 and looking forward to food and bed. The thought, however of a 05.45 departure on Friday morning was not very enticing but we managed it. Ready to trade at 07.30 and away we went, as did the temperature - upwards.

So the crowds came, looked, shopped a little, wandered away but not before buying a raffle ticket in the draw that had just been announced.

Cliff did a stirling job selling lots of raffle tickets. We provided shade when needed!

See details here to enter our raffle online.

With well over 200 aircraft performing or on static display there was plenty to see… unless you were working on the stand! Then the noise started. Either the team is getting more sensitive in its increasing years, or the aircraft are getting noisier, not like the Vulcan used to be, but in a crackling sort of way. It’s OK for a few but once you have had three Typhoons display and the F-35’s, only to have Tornado’s,  F-15 and F-16 trying to outdo them in decibels, your head is yelling bring on the A400-M - at least it has propellers! Just as your nerves settle, suddenly there is the Su-27 Flanker followed by the JAS-39C Gripen. That’s the next conversation gone for 10 minutes plus. We did sell all the umbrellas though, not as sunshades, but for the very brief heavy shower we had!

A glance at the watch, oh a mistake, 4 hours to go, but strangely, the time flew by and it was time to leave at 20.15 hours so after 13 hours on site, time for food, sleep and ……………… do it all again on the Saturday.

The display and merchandise range was a popular attraction for youngsters too.

And we did. More people than Friday but punctuated with lots of people we know from of old, friends, acquaintances, colleagues, those whom we only ever see at Airshows, asking new questions, wanting updates, happy to see us there.

The loyalty of our supporters is fantastic and we, the event team, salute them and really welcome their presence. So the noise returned, the aerobatic teams did their apparent gravity defying displays, the sky was filled with red, green, white, and blue smoke trails. 

Quick aside here, why does the Italian Frecce Tricolori smoke (seen above) linger 5 times as long as the UK Red Arrows smoke? Answers please to the editor or bobjackson@vulcantothesky.org 

Then it was time to head for ……. home. No actually, there is one more day to go. Same start time, same scheduled finish time. Yet again, ready to trade at 07.30 Sunday morning and the crowds came again, soaring temperatures again, till eventually it was time to pack up and head home.

More visitors with a party from the 2nd Bishops Cleeve Guides.

We had many visitors and reaction to the recent announcement on the hangar was positive. We had morale boosting visits from Trustees and one Trustee who actively spent the whole of Saturday working. We did also manage to have a VIP tour of the USAF KC-10 Transport that loomed over us all weekend.

The view from the USAF KC-10 tanker back to the events trailer.

You know, we had a great time and if you were there, thank you!  We hope you enjoyed yourselves as well

 

The 2018 RIAT Events Team

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